UCSB “Neural Networks: Modeling and Optimization”
ME 225NN, Fall 2022
Instructor: Francesco Bullo

This is the website for the UCSB course ME 225NN “Neural Networks: Modeling and Optimization”, Spring 2022. This website's URL is http://motion.me.ucsb.edu/ME225NN-Fall2022. A pdf version of this documentation is available on the course website.

Course Description

The course is intended primarily for graduate students interested in (1) the use of neural networks for control, optimization, and machine learning and (2) the use of systems theory to model the dynamics and functionality of neural circuits. The course contains an overview of recent research literature and involves a final project to be selected among a number of recent developments in this area.


Competency in linear algebra, nonlinear dynamical systems and linear control systems.

Lecture Time and Place

Tue and Thu: 3:30pm-4:45, ENGR2 2243

The course will be in person in room ENGR2 2243. (I may also broadcast some of the lectures on Zoom – look for an email from me with the zoom room number, otherwise please email me.)

Course credit

Units: 3. Letter grade.

Textbook and reading material

I will make available a set of lecture notes as well as source material (i.e., research articles)

Masking policies

While masks are not required, Santa Barbara County continues to recommend that masks be worn indoors. Free masks can be picked up at many locations around campus, including the UCEN Campus Store Customer Service Desk, the A.S. Pardall Center, and other locations around campus. Please respect one another’s choices regarding whether or not to wear masks.


Professor Francesco Bullo
Department of Mechanical Engineering
Email: bullo-at-engineering.ucsb.edu
Website: http://motion.me.ucsb.edu

Office hours = Discussion times

Place: zoom. Time: Tuesdays and Thursdays after class, say 5pm-6pm

Grading for ME 225NN

The class grade is based on a final written report and a final oral presentation. I will make available a document entitled “Instructions for Final Presentations and Reports”

Copyright notice

My lectures and course materials, including presentations, tests, outlines, and similar materials, are protected by U.S. copyright law and by University policy. I am the exclusive owner of the copyright in those materials I create. You may take notes and make copies of course materials for your own use. You may also share those materials with another student who is enrolled in or auditing this course.

You may not reproduce, distribute or display (post/upload) lecture notes or recordings or course materials in any other way — whether or not a fee is charged — without my express prior written consent. You also may not allow others to do so. If you do so, you may be subject to student conduct proceedings under the UC Santa Barbara Student Code of Conduct.

Similarly, you own the copyright in your original papers and exam essays. If I am interested in posting your answers or papers on the course web site, I will ask for your written permission.

Resources for Students

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Help during exams

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Managing stress

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Responsible scholarship

Honesty and integrity in all academic work is essential for a valuable educational experience. The Office of Judicial Affairs has policies, tips, and resources for proper citation use, recognizing actions considered to be cheating or other forms of academic theft, and students’ responsibilities. This information is available on their website at: http://judicialaffairs.sa.ucsb.edu. Students are responsible for educating themselves on the policies and to abide by them.

Furthermore, for general academic support, we encourage students to visit Campus Learning Assistance Services (CLAS) early and often. CLAS offers instructional groups, drop-in tutoring, writing and ESL services, skills workshops and one-on-one consultations. CLAS is located on the third floor of the Student Resource Building, or visit http://clas.sa.ucsb.edu.

Mental Health Statement

Students may feel overwhelmed or depressed with coursework, stress and/or other personal challenges. If you find yourself, or another student, in need of support, please do not hesitate to reach out to Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS), 24/7 at (805) 893-4411. http://caps.sa.ucsb.edu

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Under Title IX, university students are protected from harassment and discrimination based on gender and sex. If a student feels uncomfortable or in need of support at any time related to their gender, sex, and/or sexual orientation, please contact your TA and/or course instructor immediately. If a student would like to disclose information related to pronouns, name changes, or identities, we encourage you to do so. UCSB's Resource Center for Sexual and Gender Diversity on the 3rd floor of the Student Resource Building is also available to advocate and be of and support to students.

Financial Crisis Response Team

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